Directed by SATO Takayuki
Kapiw and Apappo -A Tale of Ainu Sisters-
[About the Ainu and this film]
The Ainu People. Compared with Ryukyan indigenous peoples in the south of Japan (Okinawa), the Ainu are more often misunderstood and their issues are broadly ignored by the mainstream. IImages of Ainu people tend to reproduce negative or simplistic stereotypes such as:
【Lost ethnic group】
【Natives coexisting with nature】
【Honoring everything as a god】
This image is constantly reinforced, beautified and even fetishized in film. We see this in recent documentaries dealing with contemporary Ainu people,
In “Kapiw and Appapo” we see two singers who are also ordinary mothers with ordinary lives, offering a completely different viewpoint from the above two works. Both of them are skilled in contemporary Ainu music, but are not activists or professional musicians. This ordinariness is what makes the characters appealing. The beauty of their voices, the tone of their instruments, are imbued with soul inherited from their ancestors.
【Where do these songs come from?】
【What is singing?】
I explore such questions through the lives of these two individuals. The film seeks to depict a ‘human’ universality that goes beyond the 'ethnic group'. In recent years, racism against Ainu and other minorities has increased in Japan. With this work I sought to express a ‘soft objection’ against such ‘denial’.